(Perris, CA, March 7, 2011)
When the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series takes the green flag to begin its eighth season with the Sokola Shootout at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday, March 12th, young racing star Nick Faas will open a new chapter in his racing career. The Huntington Beach, California resident will be replacing veteran Tony Jones in the Mark Alexander owned silver #4 Sprint Car.
Jones, the 2000 Budweiser Oval Nationals champion, 2007 USAC/CRA champion and arguably the most popular driver in Perris Auto Speedway history, is stepping away from racing for the year to spend more time with his family. Jones decision to vacate the ride meant that any driver who took over was going to have some very big shoes to fill.
Speculation ran wild on the Internet as to who the new driver would be, but it did not last long. The Alexander team quickly named 21-year-old Faas as their new hired gun and stated their intentions to run for the 2011 USAC/CRA crown.
"I heard through a message on Facebook from Lance Jennings that Tony Jones was going to take the year off," Faas said by telephone on Monday afternoon. "I called Mark (Alexander) that day and he was kind of caught off guard, because he had not told anyone. I told him I was really interested and I thought we could work really well together."
Faas and Alexander stayed in touch for a couple of weeks and when the team was sure it had enough sponsorship to run, Faas was called to their shop. "I went up there and met everyone and got the ride."
Faas practiced in the car for the first time last Saturday at The PAS and most observers thought he looked very good. "It was not hard at all to get used to the car and I felt real comfortable in it," he said. "Mark and Steve (Steve is car owner Mark's brother) build really nice cars and they have really good motors. It makes me really excited about this Saturday night."
Faas realizes he is following a driver with a big reputation and lots of people are expecting a lot from him in the famous #4. "Yeah, I have big shoes to fill," the affable driver said. "I am really fortunate to get the ride. Guys like Mike Kirby, Rickie Gaunt and Tony Jones have all raced for the Alexander's and they are all good race car drivers. Hopefully I can add my name to that list."
The team plans to run most of the season, but at present time they are not sure if they are going to run the Calistoga and Chico races, but as Faas offered, "I bet if we are doing good in points we will find a way to make it happen."
Faas has not talked to Jones since he has been hired, but he did talk to him last year. "I would give him a hard time saying, 'hey, if you ever want to hang it up, I will be willing to fill in for you,' I was just teasing with him," he stated with a laugh."
The slender driver has been racing for 16-years having started in BMX when he was 5-years old. When he turned seven, he shifted gears and he began racing quarter-midgets at the now defunct track on 1st Street in Pomona. In 2007, Faas won the USAC California Ford Focus Midget title and followed that up the next season by winning the USAC Western Midget championship. In 2008, Faas won his only USAC/CRA main event when he bested the field at The PAS on August 16th.
Faas spent the 2009 season racing Sprint Cars in Indiana and won a couple of main events. He returned to Southern California for 2010, but only got in a handful of races due to a lack of sponsors. "I think I ran seven or eight races last year and I just could not do it anymore. I was doing it by myself and it got to the point where it wasn't fun doing it," he said.
Even though he was not racing much of 2010, Faas kept his hand in the sport. "I was always at the track helping Matt Mitchell if I wasn't racing. I helped them as much as I could at the shop and I went back to Indiana Sprint Week with them. I was always still around even though I could not drive."
Away from the track, Faas is in his last semester at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa before he transfers to Cal State Fullerton to pursue his degree in business finance.
Faas' new ride is sponsored by Scott Sales Company, VP Racing Fuels, LaVilla Mexican Restaurant, SCRAFAN.com, Berdoo Auto Body, Extreme Mufflers, Larry Murakami Contracting, Garnica Trucking, Scotty Stalmo Trucking and Ray's Trucking.
To keep up with all of the latest Perris Auto Speedway news, photos, gossip and receive special offers, sign up at The PAS Facebook site at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Perris-Auto-Speedway/113876798686480
You can also keep up with the latest news and receive special offers from The PAS Twitter site: http://twitter.com/perrisautospdwy or http://twitter.com/#!/perrisautospeed.
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank its corporate sponsors for the 2011 season. All Coast Construction, Amsoil, Budweiser, Ayers Hotel and Spa, Champion Towing, City of Perris, Comunidad Latina, Eliminator Boat & RV Storage, Frazee Paint, Hoosier Tires, JD Fields Lumber, P.I.P.E., Pepsi-Cola, Prolong Super Lubricants, Soboba Casino, Square H, Temecula Valley Pipe & Supply, Trench Shoring and US Foods.
For more information call The PAS at: (951) 940-0134.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of Octoberís Southern California Fair), approximately one hour east of Los Angeles and one hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds.
Video and DVD productions of all racing events at Perris Auto Speedway are available from Jeff Kristensenís Raceway Video. For more information on these productions you can call: (818) 618-9764 or visit the web site at: racewayvideo.com.
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The full 2011 Perris Auto Speedway schedule is listed below.
March 12th: "SOKOLA SHOOTOUT" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints - Relay For Life Giveaway and Fundraiser
March 19th: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars
March 26th: "Night of Destruction 1" Rollover Contest, Demo Cross, Fresh Car Demo Derby
April 2nd: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints - Relay for Life Giveaway and Fundraiser
April 9th: Off Weekend
April 16th: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks - PLUS A "SPECIAL EVENT"
April 23rd: Off Weekend
April 30th: "Night of Destruction 2" Fig 8' Trailer Racing, Rollover Contest, Iron Man Demo Derby - Relay For Life Giveaway and Fundraiser
May 7th: Off Weekend
May 14th: Off Weekend
May 21st: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars - Relay For Life Giveaway and Fundraiser
May 28th: "SALUTE TO INDY" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints
June 4th: To Be Announced
June 11th: Off Weekend
June 18th: "Night of Destruction 3" Rollover Contest, Demo Cross, Fresh Car Demo Derby
June 25th: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars
July 2nd: City of Perris "CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION - FIRECRACKER 30 & SKY CONCERT"
USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints
July 9th: Off Weekend
July 16th: To Be Announced
July 23rd: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks - PLUS A "SPECIAL EVENT"
July 30th: "KINDOLL CLASSIC" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints
August 6th: Off Weekend
August 13th: To Be Announced
August 20th: USAC/CRA Sprint Cars & California Lightning Sprints
August 27th: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks - PLUS A "SPECIAL EVENT"
September 3rd: Off Weekend
September 10th: "Night of Destruction 4" Fig 8' Trailer Racing, Rollover Contest, Iron Man Demo Derby
September 17th: PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars
September 24th: "GLENN HOWARD MEMORIAL" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 1st: Off Weekend
October 8th: "So Cal Fair" USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 15th: Southern California Fair
October 22nd: Off Weekend
October 29th: PASSCAR "CHAMPIONS NIGHT" Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Modifieds, Factory Stocks, CDCRA Dwarf Cars
November 3rd: Budweiser "Oval Nationals"
November 4th: Budweiser "Oval Nationals" & California Lightning Sprints
November 5th: Budweiser "Oval Nationals" & California Lightning Sprints